General Purpose Tools

Cool Tools 2015 Holiday Gift Guide: $10 or less

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Favorite gift ideas for under $10

This month and last month, we are presenting a series of gift suggestions selected from the pages of Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities (which itself makes a great gift), and from the website. This week: Mark’s picks.210


The Splash Tunes ($8) has been a good in-shower speaker. I’ve been using it for a few months now with no problems. The suction cup lets me put it at ear level on the shower wall making podcast voices clearly understandable over the water noise. – Ron McCoy


The Bluetooth Car Diagnostic Scanner ($10) uses your Android smartphone as a wireless display and works both to tell you the diagnostic error codes that trigger your check engine light as well as a real-time diagnostics information display that can be used to troubleshoot performance problems while the engine is operating. The application you need to do this is free. – Dan Kim


This Eye Loupes Set ($6) is a cheap and small way to magnify things while keeping your hands free. They are almost as good as the previously described workbench lamps and headset magnifiers, but they cost under $2 a pop so I can keep on in the car, one in the tool bag, and one at work. Even the one in the tool bag has lasted 10 years or so without cracking. Since they are monocular, you retain the ability to see things on your workbench without having to move anything out of the way. – Dave W


The Doohickey Keychain Multitool ($3) is almost invisible and barely noticeable, until you need it. The wide screwdriver tip, the bottle opener and the box cutter are perfect additions to my Leatherman Style PS Multitool. The DoohicKey also comes with a wrench and a ruler. – Jesus Climent


I’ve had the Recipe Rock recipe holder ($10) almost 1 year now and I use it almost every day! Sure, it works great when creating culinary perfection, but I am also a quilter and I use it for following quilt pattern instructions. I actually purchased 2 of them so I don’t have to keep moving one from the kitchen to the sewing studio. – RM Breuer

Want more? Check out Mark’s 2015 Picks and Kevin’s 2015 Picks, as well as our 2014 Gift Guide and our 2013 Gift Guide!

-- The Editors of Cool Tools 12/7/15